Plant Industries

Serving the citizens of Arkansas and the agricultural and business communities by providing information and unbiased enforcement of laws and regulations set by the Arkansas State Plant Board

Restrictions on Sale or Transfer

The growth, handling, processing, and marketing of hemp is administered by the Arkansas Department of Agriculture (Department) as authorized by the Arkansas Industrial Hemp Act (A.C.A. § 2-15-401) and 7 U.S.C. § 5940 (also known as Section 7606 of the 2014 Farm Bill). The restrictions on manufacture, sale, and transfer of hemp are located in the Department Hemp Program Rules (Section 12) and are also summarized on this webpage.

Non-Publicly Marketable Hemp Products 

At this time, state law and the Department's Hemp Program Rules indicates that industrial hemp materials (viable seed, live plants, leaf and/or floral material) should only be in the possession of an industrial hemp license holder, operating under a research pilot program or approved USDA hemp program. It is against program rules and the Arkansas Industrial Hemp Act to sell or market “non-publicly marketable hemp products,” otherwise known as “in-program materials,” to the general public.

In-Program MaterialsMust remain in the Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program and in the possession of an authorized industrial hemp license holder, as authorized by the Department or another participating state or federal hemp program. *(Hemp License Holders Only; “Non-Publicly Marketable Hemp Products”; Section 12(A & B)*

The following industrial hemp materials are considered “In-Program Materials” and should only be in the possession of an industrial hemp program licensee:

  • Fiber – in the form of whole stalks, including leaf and seed materials, and bales of stalks
  • Roots – including raw roots
  • Leaves or Floral Material – including fresh, unprocessed, dried, and/or ground biomass
  • Grain (food product) – in the form of a raw, unprocessed seed
  • Seed (for replication) – including whole seed, clean or uncleaned
  • Transplants – including rooted plants, cuttings, seedlings, immature plants

Publicly Marketable Hemp Products

Licensed industrial hemp growers are only permitted to sell their raw “in-program materials” to licensed industrial hemp growers and/or processors that are licensed through a state’s department of agriculture or approved USDA plan. The licensed processor accepts the raw in-program hemp materials and processes them into what is considered a “publicly marketable hemp product,” otherwise known as “out-of-program materials,” which means the product can be sold to retail shops and/or the general public. A “publicly marketable hemp product,” as explained in the Department's Hemp Program Rules, Section 1(A)(33) & Section 12(C), are considered stripped stalks, fiber, dried roots, seed oils, nonviable seeds, floral extracts, and plant extracts, that are not to exceed 0.3% Total THC in final product form. These products are considered ‘out-of-program materials’ because they are able to be sold to the general public.

Out-of-Program MaterialsAllowed for transfer or sale to anyone, considered publicly marketable. (Okay to sell to general public; “Publicly Marketable Hemp Products”; Section 12(C))

The following Out-of-Program Materials are eligible for transfer or sale outside of the Department's Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program:

  • Fiber – including the whole stalk, stripped of leaf and seed materials, and decorticated fiber (base and/or hurd)
  • Roots – including dried and/or ground roots
  • Leaves or Floral Material – in the form of cannabinoid extract and all products derived from extracts
  • Grain (food product) – including crushed, ground, dehulled, seed cake/meal, roasted or toasted AND proven nonviable, and oil

Transfer Requirements 

The growth, production, and marketing of industrial hemp is authorized under 7 U.S.C. § 5940 (also known as Section 7606 of the 2014 Farm Bill) and A.C.A. § 2-15-401. The program is administered in Arkansas by the Arkansas Department of Agriculture (Department). The following information will explain which industrial hemp materials are restricted to transfer or sale within a hemp research pilot program, as opposed to materials that are eligible for transfer or sale outside of the Department Hemp Research Program.

In-Program MaterialsMust remain in the Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program and in the possession of an authorized industrial hemp license holder, as authorized by the Department or another participating state or federal hemp program. *(Hemp License Holders Only; “Non-Publicly Marketable Hemp Products”; Section 12(A & B)*

The following industrial hemp materials are considered “In-Program Materials” and should only be in the possession of an industrial hemp program licensee:

  • Fiber – in the form of whole stalks, including leaf and seed materials, and bales of stalks
  • Roots – including raw roots
  • Leaves or Floral Material – including fresh, unprocessed, dried, and/or ground biomass
  • Grain (food product) – in the form of a raw, unprocessed seed
  • Seed (for replication) – including whole seed, clean or uncleaned
  • Transplants – including rooted plants, cuttings, seedlings, immature plants

Out-of-Program MaterialsAllowed for transfer or sale to anyone, considered publicly marketable. (Okay to sell to general public; “Publicly Marketable Hemp Products”; Section 12(C))

The following Out-of-Program Materials are eligible for transfer or sale outside of the Department's Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program:

  • Fiber – including the whole stalk, stripped of leaf and seed materials, and decorticated fiber (base and/or hurd)
  • Roots – including dried and/or ground roots
  • Leaves or Floral Material – in the form of cannabinoid extract and all products derived from extracts
  • Grain (food product) – including crushed, ground, dehulled, seed cake/meal, roasted or toasted AND proven nonviable, and oil

In-Program Transfer Requirements

*To ensure program-compliance with Sale or Transfers of In-Program Materials, the Department's Hemp Program license-holders MUST submit a Hemp Material Transfer Request to the Department's Hemp Program Staff* 

It is the participant’s responsibility to ensure that the transfer or sale of any industrial hemp material to or from another 7 U.S.C. § 5940 program participant complies with all applicable laws and policies in the receiving state and state of origin. Any license holder receiving industrial hemp materials from a source outside of Arkansas must have THC test results confirming the materials to be not more than 0.3% Total THC.

For all in-program transfers, program participants must be prepared to produce a copy of their Application (otherwise known as a Licensing Agreement), a copy of their Hemp Grower or Processor/Handler License Certificate, valid lab analysis sheets, and an approved Hemp Material Transfer Request to any law enforcement agency or the Department Hemp Staff. These documents MUST accompany in-program materials during transfer. Additionally, if in-program materials will be shipped or mailed via USPS or similar shipping entity, all documents mentioned above must be included within the shipping container, and license holder must abide by the shipping entity’s specific policy regarding hemp materials. All hemp materials must be appropriately identified or labeled during transit.

Out-of-Program Transfers

If the product is an extract of floral material, the participant is required to conduct testing of THC content of each final product batch produced. Test results MUST confirm that the final product batch contains no more than 0.3% Total THC; and all such testing results must be retained by the participant and made available to the Department upon demand for a minimum of three (3) years. Final products include both wholesale and retail products (anything sold). Any material having more than 0.3% Total THC is not lawful or protected by the the Department's Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program. Possession or distribution of such products may be subject to federal, state, or local law enforcement action.

It is the responsibility of the participant to understand and comply with all regulations pertaining to their products and to seek approval(s) from any applicable regulating authorities. The Department is not responsible for ensuring product quality or product compliance with other regulating authorities, such as the Food and Drug Administration and the Arkansas Department of Health. The Licensing Agreement you have with the Department does NOT offer any legal protections from these governing bodies and does not provide waivers from their regulations.

Additionally, it is the participant’s responsibility to ensure that the transfer or sale of any industrial hemp material complies with all applicable state and federal laws. The Department has no authority to authorize or regulate industrial hemp materials once they exit the Arkansas Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program. All hemp materials must be appropriately identified or labeled during transit.

Laboratory Testing Transfers

Participants with intended transfers of industrial hemp materials to testing labs for the sole purpose of determining phytocannabinoid levels of a sample are restricted to individual samples that must not exceed 1 lb (0.45 kg) per sample. Samples must be sent directly to the lab at the company address and be appropriately labeled. Outside of the pilot program, these materials are classified under 21 U.S.C. § 801 et seq. as a Schedule I Controlled Substance. A participant’s choice to send floral materials to a lab for testing is at their own risk. The Department has no authority to authorize or regulate industrial hemp materials once they exit Arkansas. For all lab transfers, program participants must be prepared to produce a copy of the Licensing Agreement upon request by the Department Hemp Staff, the Arkansas State Police, or another law enforcement agency. The participant must ensure that a copy of the Licensing Agreement accompanies the material in transit, showing the address of origin. If necessary, the participant should also include a copy of the recipient’s Licensing Agreement to document the destination address.

Prohibited Activities and Products

The activities listed below are prohibited from the Department's Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program. A participant found to be conducting or participating in any of these activities may be subject to actions including, but not limited to, termination of their Licensing Agreement and forfeiture or destruction of all industrial hemp materials in the participant’s possession.

  • Growing or possessing live hemp plants, leaf or floral material in or adjacent to any structure that is used for residential purposes.
  • Transporting live hemp plants or in-program materials to unapproved locations such as trade shows, county fairs, educational events, or any other address not listed within a Licensing Agreement or within another authorized hemp program.
  • Violating the restrictions outlined on this webpage and/or in Section 12, Restrictions on Sale and Transfer, of the Department Hemp Program Rules.
  • Creating products for sale outside of the program which would cause noncompliance with Department Hemp Program Rules, or federal or state law.

If you are unclear about how your industrial hemp is classified in its current state, please contact the Department Hemp Program Staff at industrialhemp@agriculture.arkansas.gov. Any participant who fails to comply with the terms and conditions of the Department's research pilot program may be subject to expulsion or other disciplinary measures. The Department may notify Arkansas State Police, or other state or federal law enforcement agencies, of a participant’s noncompliance.

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